Blog Archives - Sender One Climbing
Celebrating Father’s Day!

Celebrating Father’s Day!

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Written by Anneka Peterson

Although Dads can be often remarked on their socks with sandals and corny jokes, they can, in fact, be pretty dang cool. Here at Sender One, we want to take a moment to honor the men in our families that helped raise and guide us through the hard parts of life. How do they always seem to have the answers to, sometimes, the most difficult questions? And why are they always so good at helping us with our math homework? From financial advice, to fixing tires, dads really seem to do it all. However, they are far more capable than we could even imagine! Some even go as far to say that climbers actually make the best dads… here’s why.

Looking back, there are so many dads that have created milestones in the climbing industry. There are countless fathers who seem to continuously test the bounds of what it means to be a dad, and a climber, but here we will take a moment to just name a few.

Tom Randall, a British rock climber best known for being part of a Youtube channel called Wide Boyz, is considered to be one of the best Crack Climbers out there, alongside his partner Pete Wittaker. Tom in a BMC article stated that “Climbers make great dads because they've already spent many years putting a nappy on... it's just that it's full-strength and has a belay loop!” Comparing putting on a harness to the confusing experience of learning how to change a diaper is something that most climbers can resonate with. Tom Himself has climbed incredible routes such as Kraken, a V13 Bouldering route with a 40ft long crack roof with mono hang jams and some of the best use of core strength one could only imagine.

Climbs such as this take an incredible amount of training and preparation. In this instagram post above we see Tom and his youngest daughter on a makeshift rope swing (climbing dads do tend to make the best rope swings after all). Tom goes on to explain that while he trains around the house, his daughter picks up on what he is doing and often asks how many reps he’s done, and if she can join in too. It's incredible to think that at the young age of 5, their dad has such an influence on them. 

Becoming a father can shift your entire scope of what it means to be a climber. Alex Honnold, the man best known for his free solo of El Capitan in Yosemite and various other technical climbs, says that “‘The biggest difference,..., will have to do with how I spend my time. Having a small child seems more conducive to short bursts of intense training, which lends itself to bouldering and sport climbing’” His expression to start to wind down his training, due to the birth of his daughter shows the amazing balance and sacrifice that Honnold is willing to make for such a pivotal moment in his life – becoming a dad.  In the classic Honnold fashion, he expresses “seems like the kid will be the priority." Honnold also shows an interest in getting his child into the sport once she is able to, no surprise there really. "Using hand jammies is still free climbing, so it’s still acceptable for any child of mine. Plus, I suppose I want her hands to wind up a little less ogreish than mine." 

Personally, my own dad has had his fair share of climbing experience, TRAD no less! Only growing up with my dad as a soft mannered, extremely intelligent software engineer, I would have never guessed that he had an interest in extreme sports such as climbing. I knew of his passion for space exploration and computer parts, and even a little hiking and rollerblading, but never trad. My dad recalls, “My sophomore year of college, I transferred from Oregon State to the University of Utah in Salt Lake City (early 1980s). The U of U is situated near the foot of the Big and Little Cottonwood canyons. Both canyons are filled with a wonderland of granite climbing routes, all less than 30 minutes from the campus. When I first arrived, my cousin - mostly, I think, due to serious prodding by his mom - took me out to try bouldering. It did not go well. When I arrived, I wasn't much of an athlete, and didn't have the upper body strength to get more than a foot or two off the ground. Ironically, my cousin was a fantastic climber. He became well known in the sport, and spent his career marketing climbing gear and clothing” Specifically my dad’s cousin is now working with Black Diamond.

“As I got to know people at school, I discovered climbers everywhere. Any building on campus with bricks or stone was also covered with chalk marks. Many people in the lab I worked at were into climbing, and it wasn't long before I was joining them. They were great about teaching me climbing techniques and helping me get the proper gear. Soon I had a backpack with shoes, a harness and some carabiners, ready to go if somebody needed a climbing partner. I eventually took the "advanced rock climbing" class to finish my PE credits (my climbing friends assured me I didn't need to bother with the beginning class).

Years later, I saw my daughter have a similar experience going to college in Boulder Colorado. The mountains were right there for her, ready to go explore. And even if that was too far away, the campus athletic center had a huge climbing wall to practice on (those weren't a thing when I was in school!). It's exciting to watch her succeed in the sport and use her talents to share her enthusiasm for the sport with others.

It's incredibly inspiring to see how our dads influence us into who we are as adults. Although my dad didn't continue climbing much after college, I definitely got his “how hard can it be” gene in terms of tinkering and trying new things. Again, Thank you to all the incredible Father’s that raised us and I hope all of you have an amazing Father’s Day.

Send With Pride: Climb As You Are

Send With Pride: Climb As You Are

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Written by Hailey McFelia


At Sender One our mission is to connect with others through climbing. We achieve this by highlighting our community via our Cares Program initiatives. Since it’s the month of June you know what that means… PRIDE MONTH! 

Since it’s pride month we are highlighting our Send with Pride initiative today. Send with Pride is typically a monthly meetup hosted at every Sender One location, but for the month of June we like to make it special in order to celebrate. The meetup is designed to provide a safe space for LGBTQ+ folx and allies to create community and meet new climbing partners. We offer that everyday, but we feel it’s important to bring awareness that this is a safe space despite gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. We want you to “Climb as you are”. Here’s some fun ways we plan to celebrate:

Sender One Playa Vista | Thursday, June 2nd
This event is FREE when you RSVP.
Show your pride while we climb! Nail polish, glitter, and temporary hair color will be available for use. Looks and sends will be captured by a photographer in the LGBTQ+ community. Keep an eye on PV’s Instagram to cast your vote for foods! 


Sender One SNA | Wednesday, June 19th 

Make new friends and exchange friendship bracelets along with some sweet treats!

Sender One LAX | Thursday, June 20th

Treat Yo’ Self to some sweet sends and tasty pride treats. The setting team has created a fun pride climb for y’all to enjoy. 


Sender One Westwood | Friday, June 28th

Last but certainly not least, Westwood is serving up homage to their movie theater roots. Did you know that the old theater, that is now our Westwood location, was actually the first theater to start the fun interactive Rocky Horror Picture Show events? So put on your fishnets and bright red lips and let’s do the time warp again! *
This event is recommended for ages 14+ 


Lakewood | TBD

We know you’re super eager to climb at Lakewood…So are we! While we do not have a concrete opening date (we’re getting so close though, just hang tight), we do have a Pride Climb set for you to climb! If we are able to, we will host a Send With Pride meetup. No promises, but stay tuned for any updates via Instagram!


You'll notice in the next few days, every gym will have our exclusive Pride T-Shirts on display! Every year we do a new, exclusive design and this year we went for a retro feel 🙂

We hope you join us for these events, but any day can be pride day/month at Sender One. We have something pretty rare here in the queer community. There are not a lot of third places that are wellness spaces, more specifically most 3rd spaces for the LQBTQ+ community are not alcohol free spaces. When most people think about pride celebrations they think of the parades and the bars. We offer something that’s difficult to find. We wouldn’t have that community without you! So thank you for making this space and this community so rare and special. 

Happy Pride Month y’all <3

AAPI Heritage Month At Sender One

AAPI Heritage Month At Sender One

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Written by Eric Ho


The month of May is Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, wherein communities celebrate the history, culture, and achievements and contributions of Asian and Pacific Americans with community festivals, government-sponsored activities and educational activities.

Sender One employs many staff members of AAPI heritage, including CEO Alice, and also hosts two AAPI monthly meetups called Asian Ascenders (LAX | SNA), led by various community members from AC2 and FilipinUp. Let’s take a moment to get to know some of our staff and community leaders!

We asked a couple of Sender One staff, Melissa, Sophie, Brooke, Selina, to share a bit a bit about themselves:

How would you describe your cultural identity?

Brooke (SNA): "Chinese-American"

Melissa (Lakewood): "Mostly Filipino with a pinch of Spanish, usually identifying as Filipino American. Both of my parents moved to the states in the 70s and brought many of their traditions and cultural practices with them."

Selina (LAX): "Born and raised in Shenzhen, China. I love my culture, especially the arts and the food! I embrace and celebrate a lot of my Chinese traditions because it links me to my childhood and my lineage. My parents worked really hard to give my brother and I the opportunity to explore and be immersed in a multinational community, which allowed me to absorb new knowledge and grow as an individual."

Sophie (LAX): "Half-Polish and half-Filipina, though born in America."

Image: Melissa at Malibu Creek

What does this month mean to you? How have you been able to celebrate? 

Brooke: "AAPI Heritage Month means a lot to me as someone who is a proud Asian-American! Our community has faced a lot of adversity throughout history and more recently during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this month is a time for us to come together to celebrate our rich heritage. I'm looking forward to celebrating AAPI Heritage Month with the Asian Ascenders community at Sender One."

Melissa: "AAPI Heritage Month is a time to celebrate how Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islander Americans have contributed to the U.S.'s history. To me, it is also a time to reflect or learn about the experiences these folks had/have. I'm realizing now that I should take more time to celebrate!"

Selina: "The month is an opportunity to learn about and reflect on the history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, including the challenges and triumphs they have faced. It is also the time to appreciate our diverse society and the different traditions, values, foods, literature, and the arts and crafts that people from different backgrounds bring to the world. This month brings us together not only to celebrate one group of people but also to celebrate solidarity and unity."

Sophie: "AAPI Month means celebrating the diverse cultures and histories of Asian Americans and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders. I’ve had the privilege of organizing some of the first FilipinUp SoCal meetups! While organizing these gatherings, I’ve connected with other Asian Americans, learning more about their stories and cultural backgrounds. I can’t wait to celebrate with the Asian Ascenders community at Sender One during our co-hosted meetup with Asian Climbing Collective!"


Image: Selina at Playa Vista

Who is your biggest influence and why?

Brooke: "My biggest influence is my dad. He is extremely athletic and runs half-marathons at the age of 59. He has always encouraged me to do sports, which is perhaps why I'm into climbing now. He is also kind, compassionate, and empathetic and teaches me by example how to be a good human being."

Melissa: "It's hard to choose one person as my biggest influence but if I had to choose someone who had a heavy hand in helping me discover my cultural identity and history, it would be Irene Duller. Irene was my professor and mentor throughout my undergrad where I studied at this country's first College of Ethnic Studies. As a major part of the Filipino American scene in the bay area, she taught me new perspectives and showed me how I could also dive into that community."

Selina: "My parents are my biggest influence. My dad taught me persistence, hard work, and humbleness. My mom taught me kindness, caring, and forgiveness."

Sophie: "My biggest influence is my mom. Even though she is not Asian, she still encourages me to stay close to my Filipino roots. She is the strongest (physically and mentally), funniest, and most caring person I know. She is my number one supporter in everything I do. I aspire to be like her someday!"

Image: Sophie at LAX

My identity + climbing:

Brooke: "I started climbing when I was living in South Dakota and never stopped when I moved back to California. Fast forward three years, and climbing is my life now. It's such a fun, technical sport and so rewarding to see yourself improve with time and practice. But perhaps my favorite part is the climbing community, where I have met a lot of my closest friends and continue to meet more awesome people from hosting Asian Ascenders meetups. Climb on!"

Selina: "Through climbing, I found many groups of friends who share the same passion and are always supportive. It has become an invisible string that connects me to individuals I might not have met outside of climbing."

Sophie: "My boss introduced me to climbing two years ago and I haven’t stopped since. I wasn’t always what some might consider "outdoorsy," but climbing opened my eyes to a newfound love and appreciation for nature. It has made me more confident in my day-to-day life and led me to meet many incredible people that I now call some of my closest friends. If it wasn’t for climbing and the community it fosters, launching the FilipinUp SoCal Chapter to bring Filipin@s together would not have been possible. Akyat tayo!"

Image: Brooke at SNA

Honoring Moms Who Climb Mountains

Honoring Moms Who Climb Mountains

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Written by Anneka Peterson | Edited by Alexandra Erdman

Spring is in full swing and Mother’s Day is right around the corner. With that being said, here at Sender One we’d like to take a moment to celebrate all of our amazing mothers that have raised us to be the incredibly strong climbers that we are today! To celebrate, we invite our community to bring their moms into climb for free on Sunday 5/11! Mother’s Day is a time where we take a pause to reflect on all the challenges and milestones that motherhood faces, and yet our mom’s still come out on top. There is something so magical about how mothers seem to know exactly what to say, exactly what to do, and exactly how to fix any problem that their children may face in their growing years. How do they always seem to know? It truly is incredible, isn't it? These Incredible women climb metaphorical, and sometimes physical, mountains to give us every opportunity they possibly can.

Let’s take a moment to look back into history at some of the most famous mom’s that have conquered physical feats of strength on some incredible walls around the world. It’s practically impossible to mention climbing without mentioning Alex Honnold at any point in the conversion; however, did you know that his mother has gotten into the sport herself? This incredibly strong woman has broken the record for being the oldest woman to summit El Capitan, located in Yosemite, California. Led by her talented son, Dierdre Wolownick, has become the oldest woman to climb El Capitan, breaking her OWN record after scaling the rock face for a second time on her 70th birthday. The first time Wolownick climbed El Cap she was 66. It took her a total of 13 hours to reach the summit and it became too dark for her to see the incredible view, but she was determined. According to a New York Times article, Wolownick told CNN “…I still wanted it, I wanted to be up there and see what it was like 

for myself. I wanted to sleep up there, to see the sunset and sunrise, and I felt like I had to do it.” Her determination paid off. She summited the 3,000ft climb in 6 hours, cutting her previous attempt by more than half! Now if that's not a testament to the true strength of a mother, I don’t know what is. 

Sender One will have a special opportunity by hosting a talk with Dierdre Wolownick Honnold to hear her story! After her second time making the summit, Wolownick wrote a book "The Sharp End of Life: A Mother's Story" and is giving a presentation! Feel free to join us in the LAX Sender One yoga studio for a 60 minute talk, audience Q & A and book signing with this incredible mother. You can RSVP here!

 When: Saturday, May 11th, 2024

Time: 5:00pm

Where: Sender One LAX - Yoga Studio

Pricing: Free to join with Sender One Day Pass, Punch Pass or Membership, or Discounted event day pass of $20 when booked in advance (includes climbing + rentals)

Pregnancy and motherhood comes with its own personal challenges, as women, and as climbers, women’s bodies go through the ringer! We bleed, we cramp, we bring new life into the world. And as climbers, we bleed, we cramp and we challenge our own psyche in this extreme sport. Paige Claassen, an Eddie Bauer climbing guide and professional climber is nothing short of miraculous. After a miscarriage and a historic ascent of the famous sport climb Dreamcatcher, she breaks the standards of what motherhood looks like and speaks on how women CAN be mothers, but they can also be world renowned climbers. I implore you all to take a look at her short documentary on Youtube called LOVE| A Film about Motherhood, Strength, and Climbing

In our very own Sender One Community we have our fair share of mothers that spend their time enjoying the great outdoors as well as getting their children involved. 

Nicole Pate, shares her story of what it's like to be a mother in the sport, “I am very competitive, especially with myself, so when I started climbing I was always chasing the next hard climb. I spent a lot of time training and climbing outside, and if I had a trip where I didn't send or make significant progress on a project I would be frustrated. Having kids speeds up a lot of aspects of life, but it really slowed down my climbing life. It's hard to project while chasing after a little kid.”

She describes that motherhood has its challenges, but conversely it also brings a silver lining. Having kids forced her to appreciate everything else the sport brings--community, friendships, a fun way to stay active--and not having a climbing trip's success tied to her was freeing in a way. 

Now she gets to experience her daughter falling in love with climbing as well. Every time they go on a hike her daughter begs them to find boulders for her to climb, and she doesn't want easy climbs, she wants to project. “Seeing her obsess over a climb until she sends brings me so much joy, it is as satisfying as sending my own project...almost.”

Nicole concludes, “I think climbing is something I'll do with my family for the rest of my life, and I am excited to see how that evolves over time.”

Similarly Alice Kao, our CEO and founder, has raised her kids in the world of climbing as well. This is her experience. “Both my kids grew up in the gym. For Sydney, my 11 year old, literally IN THE GYM.  For the first year we opened SNA there was a crib in the back office!Because the gym is their home, we've tried not to push them into climbing and let them choose their own activities. We do bring them to the gym on the weekends to climb with us and our friends, and we've taken them on climbing trips outside.

It was definitely harder when they were babies. We ended up making friends with other parents at the gyms and as a group we would take turns climbing and babysitting each other's kids. Fortunately both our girls don't hate climbing, and now on the weekends they'll even ask us to take them to the gym.” 

Both Alice and Nicole were able to share their passion of climbing while still allowing their kids to decide their own outdoor journey. Motherhood is all about understanding and growing with your children, in these cases specifically, it's amazing to see nurturing mothers in our community share their passions with the little ones in their lives that they love the most.

Even my own mom has a memory to share.The first time I saw my daughter scramble to the top of a flag pole, I knew I had a mountain goat on my hands. Anneka was five and it was her first day at her new gymnastics class. ‘Whoa,’ the teacher cried when she saw her race to the flag pole and shimmy up. OK, so I won’t lie. I was proud. And not entirely surprised. At nine months, her mommy & me swim teacher remarked on her  ‘great upper body strength’ — I didn’t even know that was a thing for babies. As I watched her grow into a sociable, sometimes solitary nature lover, driven by a stubbornness as tough as her independent streak, and developing athletic prowess, it became clear to me that it was only a matter of time. Sooner, or later, she would succumb to the lure of rock climbing. Excited as I was by the thought, I worried.” 

“I’ve climbed many mountains but only one very tall rock and nothing will ever shake the memory of clinging to that sheer wall, contemplating how to make sure my next move would not be my last. But, hey I won’t lie — somewhere on that rock, I decided I would not let myself die. I knew it was all up to me. Call it a crash course in focus. Slanting rays of early evening sun cast an orange reflection on the rock. The next thing I remember is hoisting myself up over a ledge. My hands were damp. I don’t know how I did it, but I made it to the top. I never wanted to rock climb again, but when I finally saw my daughter fall under that spell as a college girl in the Rockies, I became less afraid. She was competent, methodical, had courage, valued safety, learned from those who knew the ropes — and she was stubborn as a goat. I figured she had the grit to get to the top. And I’m not gonna lie — I’m proud.” 

I’ll leave you with this amazing quote from LOVE: “It just blows my mind that we don't talk more about…all of it. Do you even know how many people have become mom’s in this world?” 

What Is The Sender One Cares Program?

What Is The Sender One Cares Program?

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Written by Eric Ho | Edited by Alexandra Erdman


You might have heard about the Sender One Cares Program, but what does that entail? Well, you’re in luck, we’re going to break it down for you in an easy FAQ.


So what is this Cares Program?

It’s Sender One’s social responsibility program! There are two main focuses: Care for the Community and Care for the Crag.

Care for the Crag

In addition to caring for its indoor climbing community, Sender One also believes in keeping our outdoor spaces clean and safe. That’s where Care for the Crag comes in. We have rotating crag cleanups at 3 special local crags: Malibu Creek, Pirate’s Cove, and Stoney Point. Our next one is at Stoney Point this Sunday, April 28, 2024.


What’s Care for the Community?

One of Sender One’s Core Values is See From Other People's Perspectives. Care for the Community does just that. Sender One’s staff, members, and guests are all diverse in race, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, physical ability, religion, and socio-economic status. All are welcome, and we hold space for affinity groups that have partnered with us through four initiatives: Send with Color, Send with Pride, Send with Women, and Send Forward.


What’s Send with Color?

Sender One LAX and SNA are privileged to host monthly BIPOC meetups to celebrate culture and community in Asian Ascenders (LAX | SNA) and Send with Mi Gente (LAX | SNA), partnering with affinity groups Asian Climbing Collective and Escalemos to provide collaborative meetups. Sender One LAX also has a monthly Black Climbers Union meetup, collaborating with Black Girls Trekkin' biannually.


What’s Send with Pride?

All climbers are welcome, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. The Send with Pride meetups (LAX | PV | SNA | WW) allow our queer climbers to foster community and climb together.


What’s Send with Women?

We empower women and non-binary climbers to come together and climb in a safe and supportive community at our our Ladies Climbing Coalition (LAX) and Send with Women meetups (PV | WW). LCC holds the honor of being Sender One’s longest running affinity group meetup.


So what’s Send Forward?

After diversity and inclusion, Sender One focuses its last initiative on equity. We collaborate with organizations to make climbing accessible to low income and underprivileged groups. Past partners include Outdoor Bound, REALM Creative Academy, ASL Climbers, and Hiller Therapy.


Wow, that’s so much to offer. How can I contribute?

Attend our crag cleanup this Sunday at Stoney Point, or join one of our many meetups listed above! Additionally, visit and support our partners at the bottom of our Cares Program page!

What To Do With Your Kids This Summer

What To Do With Your Kids This Summer

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Written by Kadisha Aburub | Edited by Alexandra Erdman


Summer is right around the corner and if you're still thinking about how to keep your kids busy, then don't worry! We have tons of options across SoCal for you and your family!

Climbing has been shown to build confidence, improve focus, and increase coordination and strength in children. Through active instruction and supervised games, young climbers can learn how to problem solve, work in groups, and gain confidence in their ability to reach new heights.

Has your child never tried climbing before and seems scared to do so? Sender City is the perfect place for them to conquer their fears. Sender City is like the IRL Mario Brothers game. With buildings to climb, towers to jump off of, and if they’re feeling really brave… a giant slide!

If you’ve already checked out Sender City but are looking for something fun for your child during summer break? Sign-up for Rock Climbing Camp! Activities include rope climbing, bouldering, games, king swing, slackline, and Sender City.

If your child shows interest they can join our youth programs! Every child before entering a team must complete Climbing Academy. Climbing Academy is an 8-week introductory course is designed to teach kids the fundamentals of climbing: technique, problem-solving skills, basic knot tying & more!

For more information about booking Sender City and/or Summer Camps at Sender One, you can visit, select your desired location and go from there! To make it a little easier, here are some quick links 😉

SNA Sender City, Camps & Drop-In Programs

LAX Sender City, Camps & Drop-In Programs

Playa Vista Drop-In Programs & Camps

Westwood Drop-In Programs

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